Monday, July 4, 2011
A Summer Away From Facebook
I'm sure some of my friends wonder what happened and why I left Facebook for now, after being a prolific Facebook poster for several years. There really wasn't (and isn't) any stunningly huge reason, other than that I simply felt the Lord asking me to do it. It was amazing how simple it was for me to give it up, too. I just said, "Okay, Lord" and actually began looking forward to life without Facebook for awhile.
It started this spring, as the Lord began convicting me of attitudes and habits in my life that didn't please Him. And chief of all sins, was that my habits and ways of wrong thinking didn't bother me enough to change them. I wanted to change them... I'd resolve to do better... but so soon I'd be living the same old busy, self-absorbed, God-forgetting, people-pleasing way.
Which meant that I really wasn't very serious about changing. People who say they're preparing to be professional athletes or musicians and can barely squeeze in a little time each day to practice show by their actions what really matters to them in life. They can say whatever they want to about their desires and goals, but it's obvious to everyone where their priorities lie. So lived I my life.
God brought it up to me over and over. I was miserable - trapped in a life of pressing needs and clamoring noise, knowing I needed God more, but living a barren inner life. How can one give God to others if you aren't full of Him yourself?
My dear sister-in-law gave me a book on Brokenness that I managed to read in snatches over Spring. The Lord used that book to show me how wrong, dead wrong my heart was. I was existing as a Christian, looking like and acting like one to all the world around me, but not living, fully living - drinking at the Springs of Living water, every day, all day any more....
The difference between doing and being something is so vastly huge! I realized that although I still looked and acted much the same outwardly as I did back when my heart was right, inwardly I was withering. I'd lived the Christian life long enough, that I could get up every morning and "do" it... be kind, servant-hearted, cheerful, forgiving... but did I love God with all my heart? Did I crave Him? Did I still know and walk with Him as I used to?
I then spent a few days at a Bible conference, seeking God. He kept peeling back the layers of my heart with every message I heard, every chapter in the Bible that I read, and every time I sought God in prayer. Showing me my heart, probing into the corners... reminding me that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble and that He is near to the brokenhearted.
Did I really care more about living a life that people agree with and being a person who they like, or did I care most about what God wanted from my life? ...All so elementary, but all so fresh again when your heart is all wrong and you didn't even realize the half of the ugliness of it all!
There was also another situation going on in a friend's life that had been heavy on my heart for months. During this time, God pointed His finger at my heart as the prophet Nathan once did to King David and said, "Thou art the man!" All of the grieving I had done over this dear, dear friend of mine growing cold towards and then leaving her husband and children.... God showed me that she had done it to another sinful human being... but I had done it to Him, my Creator, Redeemer, the Holy, Almighty God. I no longer loved him like I should, not because I had any reason not to love Him, but just because I was busy and full of everything but God. I can rarely remember being so convicted and grieved by my own sin and my own heart as at that moment as I realized that God's words from James 4:4 rang true in my own life: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses...!"
God brought me to a point of desperation to again have a pure heart, a broken and contrite heart before Him, a heart that I wouldn't exchange even a little piece of for anything in all the world or in all of this life.... A heart desperately hungry for God... to love Him, to know Him, to delight in Him, and Him alone!
All of these things I've always said in my head. There's never been a day in the last twenty years, when I haven't thought these things or wanted my relationship with Jesus Christ to be like that.
But living these things is different. It's one thing to resolve to know and love God as He is worthy of. It's an entirely different thing to roll yourself out of bed an hour or two earlier after only a few hours of sleep to seek Him until you find Him, instead of just functioning on fumes. It's one thing to realize that you need God more than anything else in the world. It's an entirely different thing to live that way - to let urgent work pile up and cancel fun events because there is nothing that needs to be done more than to commune with God and listen to His voice.
As the Lord humbled me and crumbled every last little thing that I might have thought I was doing "good" or right, I began to desperately want to bring Him pleasure, and the slightest care about what anyone else thought or approved of faded. It has become one of my goals this year to live for an audience of One - God, and Him alone.
Which brings us to Facebook. Sometimes Facebook makes me feel like I live in a viewing tank with many folks visiting my life and sharing their opinions. It's not all bad, in fact, often it's helpful or nice. My goals for Facebook have always been to encourage and inspire others to seek what matters most in life; to make them think; to be real and honest about myself, and if nothing else, to just make people smile. But, in my quest for seeking the pleasure of an audience of One, I thought that might be easiest without the distraction of other people's commentary on my life or opinions. :)
Facebook hasn't taken up a ton of my time in the last year because I rarely log onto it when I'm on the computer. I usually just Facebook from my Blackberry while I'm waiting in line or elsewhere have 2 minutes with "nothing else to do."
Nothing else, that is... except seek God. He can be sought anywhere. I don't ever see myself having a slow-paced life and easy routine that makes it easy to seek God and spend lots of time in His Word. I don't have slow mornings in my jammies with tea and my Bible. I have 2 am calls from frantic mamas who need me now.... or if I wake up in my own bed in the morning, there's an incredible amount of things to be done around here, like my own mother needing my help. Evenings are no better. Days are non-stop. Sometimes there just are a hundred things that HAVE to be done.
Mothers of little ones find this true. You can't wait to nurse the baby just because you haven't spent some time with the Lord yet. The toddler wakes up at 5:30, crying that he's wet again... and the four year old wakes up throwing up, regardless of whether you've read your Bible or had enough sleep. Sometimes you just have to be a mom. Some days I just have to be a midwife, and a sister and daughter and caregiver....
But above all, I HAVE to seek God. I have to love Him. I have to know Him. I have to live for Him! THAT is the cry of my heart. If my heart is desperate enough, I will seek Him daily and above all else in life!
I plan to come to back to Facebook and I'm not making a lot of other major changes to life... except that regardless of what else happens, I need God.... enough of Him to fill my heart to overflowing, every day. And I intend to live that way!